Nursing Theories vs Non-Nursing Theories

Theories are a system of ideas that are meant to explain something like a situation or an event. They can also be described as generalized thinking. Some theories are limited to certain fields, while others can be applied across the spectrum.

Nursing Theories

In nursing, theories aren’t just there to be memorized. You’ll be surprised to learn that they do have real-life applications. Below are some of the theories you are likely to come across.

Need theory

This theory looks at the importance of developing a sense of independence in a patient that will aid in their recovery. It uses the assumptions that nurses need to look after patients until they look after themselves. The second assumption is that nurses are willing to serve in the first place.

Unitary human beings

This theory suggests that human beings are one with the environment, and in order for proper healing to take place then they need to be in sync with the environment. This theory looks at nursing as being both a science and an art.

Self-care theory

This theory suggests that people should be self-reliant and responsible for their healthcare. The theory also suggests that proper nursing involves a look at the physiological, mental, social and physical needs of a patient.

Transcultural nursing theory

This theory suggests that nurses will provide assistance that is reliant on their own cultural values, beliefs and systems.

Non-nursing Theories

These are theories that the nursing community has borrowed heavily from, even though they are mostly used in other fields:

General systems theory

This theory looks at how a system or a “whole” is made up of different parts or components that work together to achieve a particular goal. The theory takes a look at the kind of relationship the various parts have with each other.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory

This theory suggests that a person will pursue basic needs first before he/she can achieve upper-level needs.

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